Seeking to fish in troubled waters, RJD President Lalu Yadav today criticised the Nitish Kumar government for targeting an ad agency instead of taking action against ally BJP on newspaper advertisements showing him alongside Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi.
"The Nitish government should have taken action against the BJP on whose behest the advertisement was published and not against the ad company which did the marketing job", he said at a meeting of party leaders in Patna. Prasad contested the claim of his arch-rival Kumar that the ad agency should have taken prior permission before using his photograph, saying there was no need for it as the content of the advertisement was factually correct.
"It's a fact that both Kumar and Modi shook each other's hand at an election rally in Ludhiana last year and the photo was clicked by the media and published in the newspapers and telecast on the electronic channels," the RJD supremo said, adding Kumar should not have "vented his frustration" on the agency.
"If at all the Bihar Chief Minister felt aggrieved, then he should have pulled up the BJP managers for releasing the advertisement and taken action against them instead of choosing a soft target in the ad agency," he said. The state police had earlier in the day raided the premise of the ad agency and seized the PDF files and e-mails received by the agency in connection with the advertisements.
The RJD supremo also flayed the Chief Minister for his last minute decision to cancel the dinner last night for the visiting BJP delegates, saying it was against "our culture". "The Chief Minister should have gone ahead with the dinner for the visiting delegates irrespective of any political development," Prasad said.
He criticised Kumar's announcement that unutilised money from Gujarat's donation for Kosi flood relief measures would be returned. The Rabri Devi government too had given a contribution of Rs 10 crores to Gujarat in the wake of Kutch earthquake in 2001 inspite of ideological differences with the BJP and the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he said, adding that Kumar was resorting to such a measure to "repair a tattered image".
Prasad thanked the media for exposing the Chief Minister's "collusion" with communal forces. "It was the media which had put Kumar at the zenith as the architect of the development of Bihar and now the same media has pulled him down to the ground," he said.